‘Concussion’ doctor says youngsters shouldn’t play these sports until they are 18

You wouldn’t allow your toddler drink a pitcher of cognac or smoke a cigarette, so why could you ship him out on a football discipline to change brain harm?

It’s a query Dr. Bennet Omalu — a forensic pathologist whose discovery of continual traumatic encephalopathy became portrayed inside the Will Smith film “Concussion” — wishes dad and mom to consider.

He warns that children who play soccer, hockey and lacrosse could face an entire life of health consequences and info his findings in his new e book, “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports.”

“We want to increase more brain-friendly, healthier varieties of sports,” Omalu advised TODAY. “We have extended sports activities to the extent of a faith. We’re in denial of the fact.”


What do you need mother and father to recognize about contact sports?
Omalu: Knowing what we understand nowadays, there may be no cause by any means that any toddler below the age of 18 must play the high-impact, high-touch sports.




The huge six are American football, ice hockey, combined martial arts, boxing, wrestling, and rugby. Blows to the top are intrinsic to the sport. That reality can be inconvenient, painful and difficult, however, we must now not deny it.

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Is soccer safe for youngsters? Study seems at mind changes
Is football secure for kids? Study appears at mind modifications

What’s your view on lacrosse and soccer?
Omalu: Lacrosse has one of the highest concussion rates across all sports. It’s a very risky sport — human beings want to understand that. I additionally don’t suppose youngsters more youthful than 18 should play it.

As some distance as soccer, there need to not be any heading below the age of 18. Soccer is a high-dexterity, excessive visual-spatial coordination recreation. You need very high ranges of mental functioning to play it and kids have not attained that degree of mental improvement. Soccer because it’s performed these days ought to be performed by using best youngsters who’re above the age of 12-14. Children more youthful than that must play a modified shape of soccer, whereby there’s much less touch. Maybe we make the balls larger and lighter in order that there’s less unintentional harm.

Which sports activities are secure for kids?
Omalu: The non-touch sports: swimming, tune, and discipline, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, garden tennis, badminton — there are so lots of them. There is still a threat of unintended harm. You ought to play securely.



You’ve said letting kids play football is the “definition of toddler abuse?” How so?
Omalu: I take training in child abuse recognition each few years in order to maintain my license to exercise as a health practitioner. The fundamental definition of child abuse is the intentional exposure of a baby to the chance of harm. That harm ought no longer to occur.

We wouldn’t supply an infant a cigarette to smoke because a cigarette is doubtlessly harmful. But we might place on a helmet on the top of an infant and ship him out to an area to play a recreation whereby he sustains repeated blows to his head, to suffer sub-concussions and concussions.

Which is more dangerous: a cigarette or a concussion of the mind? A concussion of the brain, of the route. If that isn’t the definition of toddler abuse, what’s it?

When humans listen to the statement “Omalu says playing football is toddler abuse,” they turn out to be emotional. But when you cast off the emotionality, it’s a very goal assertion. I’ve no longer met any discern who disagrees. Some dad and mom will say, “Don’t place it like that; that makes me feel horrific.”

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Effects of soccer concussions coming to mild
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Effects of soccer concussions coming to light

What are the health outcomes if a child suffers a concussion?
Omalu: Many papers have proven that each one it takes to your infant to suffer brain harm is simply one concussion. But earlier than your son suffers a concussion, there must have been masses if not thousands of sub-concussions. The harm is permanent because the mind does now not have any capacity to regenerate itself.

There had been two papers that came out of Sweden, one in 2014 and some other in 2016. Researchers diagnosed 1.1 million youngsters and they followed them for forty-one years. They observed out that if an infant suffers simply one concussion that brings him to the hospital, that toddler is much more likely to die before the age of 42, specifically through violent manner; he has a to 4 times expanded threat of committing suicide as a grown up; and is ready to 4 times much more likely to suffer a chief psychiatric infection as a grownup, consisting of fundamental despair.

He is much more likely to have faded intelligence and is much more likely to be less gainfully employed as a grownup. He is more likely to emerge as a drug addict or alcoholic and is much more likely to have interaction in violent or criminal conduct.

What about playing those high-touch sports activities while you’re over 18?
Omalu: Your brain turns into completely evolved at approximately 18-25. I would be the first to shield your right to do something you need as a grownup as long as it doesn’t pose a risk to the existence of another man or woman. That does not mean it’s safe.

Children have now not reached the age of consent. We are having fewer children so our kids are becoming more valuable. My son is almost 8 years vintage and he will be the first to tell you that football isn’t excellent in your brain.

Pamela W. Holloway

Hipster-friendly zombie fan. Writer. Internet specialist. Bacon maven. Pop culture practitioner. Spent 2002-2010 developing strategies for saliva in the aftermarket. At the moment I'm supervising the production of mosquito repellent in Africa. Was quite successful at lecturing about acne in Cuba. At the moment I'm working with wieners in the aftermarket. A real dynamo when it comes to implementing Yugos in the UK. Spent 2001-2005 donating wooden trains in Pensacola, FL.

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